Serbia’s MPs adopt changes to expropriation law; Opposition: Unconstitutional

NEWS 26.11.2021 18:54
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Source: Tanjug/Zoran Žestić

Serbia's Parliament passed another controversial legislation, the Law on Expropriation, which many saw as the legalisation of forcible seizing people's property which happened to be in the way of Government projects.

The opponents of adopting the amendments to the Law believe that it is inadmissible for the Government to have a discretionary right to non-transparently declare projects of particular importance without prescribed criteria, thus making it the basis for property expropriation.

On the other hand, the Government claims the amendments to the Law on Expropriation additionally define the cases and users of expropriation, shorten the proceedings’ deadlines, resolve the issue of illegal property in appropriation and define the administrative transfer.

Later on Friday, the opposition Assembly of Free Serbia warned that adopted amendments to the Law on Expropriation violated Article 58, paragraph 2 of the country’s Constitution and appealed with the Constitutional Court to launch the procedure to annul the changes.

Article 58, paragraph 2 stipulates that „the right of ownership may be taken away or limited only in the public interest determined based on law, with a compensation that cannot be lower than the market one.“

The Assembly said that the adopted amendments gave the government the authority to declare the projects based on an international agreement in which one of the signatories is Serbia’s state, as of public interest.

„In this way, the private interest of a foreign company’s profit is declared a public interest.“

 

related news

A mass protest against changes to the Law on referendum and expropriation was held in Belgrade on Wednesday.

The organisers threatened to call on people to block a motorway for an hour if the Law was passed.

They said that if President Aleksandar Vucic signed it, they would bloc the whole of Serbia.

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